News Wrap: Economic Growth Reading, Egypt’s Turmoil Rattle U.S. Markets
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HARI SREENIVASAN: The growing tumult in Egypt shook financial markets today. The sell-off also fed on news that the U.S. economy grew at a 3.2 percent rate at the end of 2010. That was the most in nearly a year but less than expected.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 166 points to close at 11,823. The Nasdaq fell 68 points to close below 2,687. For the week, the Dow and the Nasdaq lost a fraction of a percent.
There was also new trouble in Tunisia today. Police clashed with protesters near the prime minister’s office in Tunis. The security forces stormed the protesters’ camp and fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of people. The demonstrators had been holding a sit-in there for five days. Meanwhile, the new government bowed to demands to remove most ministers left over from the former ruling party.
In Afghanistan, a suicide bomber killed eight people, including foreigners, at a grocery store in Kabul. The supermarket was located in a heavily guarded district that is home to many diplomats and Westerners. Initial reports said two Americans were killed, but the U.S. Embassy could not confirm that. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. It said the target was a worker for the former Blackwater security firm.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela has been released from a hospital in Johannesburg. He went home today after treatment for a respiratory infection. Officials said the 92-year-old Mandela was in good spirits and stable condition. He — he had received thousands of messages from well-wishers, including one from President Obama.
Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel turned his focus back to running for mayor of Chicago today. Last evening, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed his eligibility for the office. The court overturned a lower court ruling that Emanuel had not lived in Chicago for a full year before the election.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.